Canada’s Energy Heartland Devastated by Wildfires

Wildfire, cc Flickr modified jasonwoodhead23, would like to thank the Canadian Red Cross for all of its efforts in helping those affected by the wildfires around Fort McMurray. Please assist the Red Cross and their valuable work by donating kindly to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.



Wildfires have been wreaking havoc in Canada’s oil heartland, causing the some 80,000 people of Fort McMurray to be evacuated in dramatic fashion. The fires are thought to have destroyed nearly 20% of the homes in the city, but a favorable turn in weather conditions has some believing that the worst of the disaster might be behind us.

The area affected by the fires is also home to major sites in Canada’s oil sands, including facilities operated by Suncor, Husky, and CNOOC-owned Nexen.



The fire currently sits at around 161,000 hectares in size, and it has consumed over 200,000 hectares of boreal forest.

It is estimated to have already caused $7-9 billion in damage, and this number is sure to grow as the fire has yet to run its course. Most of this damage was absorbed by the unfortunate residents of Fort McMurray, but there are instances of damage to Canada’s oil industry as well. As of Sunday, Nexen was reporting that its site at Long Lake suffered “minor” damage from the fire. Suncor also identified its base oil sands mining site near Fort McMurray as under threat. Syncrude Canada shut down its operations and evacuated all employees at sites north of Fort McMurray on Saturday. Husky Energy followed suit, shutting down its Sunrise operations over the weekend.

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